Showing posts with label teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teachers. Show all posts

Values Taught to the Young Causes Terrorism

Plants destroyed in australia
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Learning the Koran

Genetics Gives Children Mathematical Aptitude

Genetics: genetic predisposition makes girls or nboys good at maths.
The money poured into education to encourage girls and more boys to study maths and science could be a waste.  Research on twins shows that numerical aptitude is 75 per cent genetic.  Either both twin children are good at dealing with numbers or both are not.  There is also a 50 per cent genetic predilection for writing skills.
Girl student good at maths
Despite parents helping their children with homework and the like, it had little influence on academic achievement.  Furthermore, teachers and the schools attended whether private or public had no impact.  Children took to maths or English according to their genetic makeup.

It is not clear if teachers are evenly well trained so students are benefiting evenly across the nation.  However, this is clutching at straws.  We all remember the lazy, bad teachers who threw a chapter of a book at use to scribble the lesson away while he/she played around at the desk or in the book cupboard.  It really seems that teachers have no effect on teaching per se in regard to student outcomes.
 Genetics by Ty Buchanan 
 Australian Blog
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When I went to school many long years ago, dyslexia was barely accepted as a problem. Children with the malady did the best they could and parents assumed they just didn't like school. Today, a great deal is known about it.
Child boy with dyslexia problem with reading
The main issue with dyslexia is word jumble. Reading "smile" for the word "slime" and so on. This means that teachers assume such student have difficulty spelling when they don't. Dyslexia sufferers also do not have a poor memory.

Unfortunately, there is no cure and the severity of the "disease" varies. Phonics offers something. This is teaching syllable sounds with actual reading. Lastly, there is no genetic cause for dyslexia.
Genetics by Ty Buchanan 
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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Forcing STEM Graduates to the Bush Will Not Work

The number of school students doing maths and science is woefully inadequate in city areas. Numbers in rural areas are even worse! A new plan is in progress to improve the situation. Unfortunately, it will prove to be a total failure and waste of money.

Culture has inertia. It takes about half a century to alter established beliefs. Rural children believe that maths and science are too difficult for them so they do not even attempt them. They stay with the social subjects. The new "curative" program to solve the matter will ignore city students and concentrate on rural regions.
Students in a rural bush outback school teacher teaching
There is a noticeably low number of rural students doing education, engineering and science degrees.  Note that 74 per cent of teachers in city areas have STEM experience, while only 17 per cent of rural teachers have done STEM work.  The intention is to send high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers to the bush - they will love that! It is like sending the trainer of the winner of the Melbourne Cup to train horse riders in the sticks, an absolute waste of resources.

Advanced teachers are not the answer. Those who can teach the basics are needed because going with the horse analogy, getting over the first jump is the most difficult problem. If students get this achievement they will at least choose base maths. Australia has the silliest curriculum with up to five levels of maths. When I was young we all did the same compulsory arithmetic then maths. Arithmetic has been forgotten. Bureaucrats do not see that this subject is the foundation for all math.

State schemes such as "go to" the bush for an annual $10,000 check have not worked. Teach For Australia is going to forcibly place graduates in rural schools. The experience will be part of their career training. We will see what teachers unions have to say about this. They will not accept it lying down.

To willingly draw skilled young teachers to rural schools will take money and lots of it. The federal government is cutting back payments to states. And states are running deficits. Forcing movement to the bush where even basic services are not available like a decent water supply and courier deliveries, by making rules to achieve it, will not work. City born, city live is the motto of young people.
Education by Ty Buchanan 
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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A Good Move to Compulsory Maths and Science

I do not often agree with Christopher Pyne on government policy, Dare I say, I have "never" been in favor of his hair-brained ideas until now. Indeed, I would take his latest plan even further.
Australian school students in class classroom with teacher
He is attempting to make maths and science compulsory for students in years 11 and 12. These two critical subjects should be part of the core curriculum in all years of school throughout primary and secondary education. I may say "When I was a lad..." Yet on this point I believe I have a solid foundation. When I was at school maths and science were for everyone. Advanced maths and science were only for those who proved themselves capable of effectively coping with the main subject areas.

When my children were at high school there were five grades of maths in years 8 to 12. Many students, with their parents' guidance I may say, chose a level too high for them to cope with in the next year. This ruined their whole higher education. If one attempts a higher level and fails, there is no credit on the leaving certificate for that subject in that year. An individual has a blemished record for life.

The only answer to this issue is for a parent to take a possible shattering step. This I did for one of my children. I took my son out of his current school and into another local high school to repeat the two years again. Thankfully, my son achieved a strong educational record and is successful in life.
Science by Ty Buchanan 
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            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia

Australian Teachers Do Not Need to Copy Asia

There is nothing wrong with the quality of Australian teachers. Saying that we can learn a lot from Asian teachers is absolutely wrong. It is the culture of the student that determines whether he/she will be successful in becoming educationally proficient.

Children of Chinese immigrants to Australia do much better than offspring of many other subcultures. Native third generation Australians do worst of all. This is because their parents get on with living their own lives and leave their kids to learn by themselves. There is nothing wrong with this policy. Chinese parents do similarly, but they do help much more financially with education.

Mao Tse-tung was once asked by a Western reporter what was the most difficult thing about governing China. He replied it was teaching children to believe in Communism when Chinese are born Capitalists. Trading has been an important part of Chinese culture for thousands of years so calculating and finance are important.

To be successful in life high academic achievement is paramount. Children of immigrants know this as well as their parents, particularly those from Asia. There is one issue that is problematic for even these children. That is the paranoia about rote learning in the West, even though rote is still held to the fore in Asia. Independent thinking is necessary. However, if you wait for a child to understand everything naturally without explaining the answers you will wait forever.

East Asians will pay for their children to "cram" learn with private coaches. This is not part of Australian culture. Nonetheless, this service is available in Australia. The Asian mother drives her offspring forward no matter where they live in the world. This drive is "absorbed" by the child.

Chinese also know that core subjects like maths are more important than choice subjects like surfing for example. The number of Australians who make a living at surfing can be counted on one hand. It is clear that Australian education is not managed well. Some decisions are not rational at all.
Education by Ty Buchanan
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     Australian Blog                         

"Rote" is a Dirty Word in Education

Students from overseas are saving Australia's tertiary education system. This is particularly true for postgraduate degrees. Most Australians attend a social science postgraduate course. This is despite the fact that these pieces of paper are virtually worthless in getting a job in today's world.

Modern economies need IT, management, commerce, science, engineering, architecture and agriculture postgraduates. Doing maths and science at high school is the key but Australian students avoid these. This is due to the poor organization of subjects. Some states have no less than five grades of maths choices. There should be compulsory broad based maths despite failures along the way. Avoiding the difficult is not the way to go.

We have teachers who are only qualified in social sciences teaching maths and science because there are too few fully-educated technical teachers. This is despite the fact that there is an oversupply of teachers generally.

Foreign students are propping up the employment related postgraduate sector by paying the full cost of running the courses with some money skimmed-off by universities to fund social science degrees. Australia needs targetted
education. The curriculum is never left alone. Every government changes the prevailing system. France kept to rote teaching and they have the best scientists in the world. Many Scientists employed in Britain are French.

Why do academics now have this morbid fear of rote teaching? It was because the United States went down the road of free subject choice and the rest of the Western world followed. Just saying the word "rote' was anathema and still is. When I was at school we all said the twelve times tables aloud as a group every morning and I can still remember them now.

No, education today is carried out in the wrong way. For example, making surfing a high school subject was a stupid thing to do. The number of people who have had a successful career in surfing can be counted on your fingers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with rote teaching of the essential things in life. Teachers now expect the answers to problems to just appear in the minds of students. Mentoring is about "telling" not asking.
Education by Ty Buchanan
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     Australian Blog                         

Too Many Maths and Science Graduates

For many years it has been said that Australia lacks maths and science graduates. Maths teachers are in short supply we are told. Professor Ian Chubb, a chief scientist, certainly pushes this case.

Unfortunately, data does not support this premise. Like qualified information technology people, maths and science graduates find the job market difficult. It seems there is real demand only in geological science. A little more than half of graduates say their qualifications are relevant to their work. They hold down jobs only in distantly related fields.

One would think that with science and technology moving forward at a rapid pace such qualified people would be sorely needed. Employment in agricultural science is falling because young people are leaving rural towns and refuse to learn about farming. It is seen as glorified laboring.

Getting a post-graduate qualification does not help to find work. Employers see higher degrees as narrowing educational scope. Government is continuing to push universities to offer science and maths teaching despite labor demand falling. Places for teachers are available, but when first employed new teachers have to work for ten years or more in the bush before they can choose where they want to live.

Though historically Australian culture was based on bush life, today the young are urbanites. They love big cities and living near the ocean. The trend is for elderly grandparents to spend their last days in rural areas, while their offspring live it up on the coast. Maths and science, however, may not be the road to financial success.
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Australian Blog                         

Teachers Bonus a Waste of Money

There isn't much doubt that the bonus scheme for teachers will not work. Like the mystique of "time and motion" where the claim is made that human productivity is linear and is an increasing curve, it's a pipe dream! Machinery can only be speeded up so much before parts start flying off in all directions and everything shuts down for maintenance. Furthermore, when task are done too quickly a lot of "non-size" rubbish is produced. While output in some industry can be improved, for paper carriers such as teachers this is virtually impossible.

Some teachers are better than others and for the main part this is innate: it is not learned and never can be. The only measurement is the quality of students that are lucky enough to be taught by them. Even then, tying down the factors that do improve matters is not easy to identify. Usually. students have an affinity with a teacher; thus they are prepared to work harder. It is not the teacher who is putting in more effort - it is the student. Testing students to deduce the performance of their teachers will also drive a wedge between teachers and students. Considering only one in ten teachers will benefit from the bonus scheme it is divisive for teachers themselves. Industrial strife is just down the road.

Overall, it is a silly exercise. Why should the Government, the taxpayer, pay more? Will good teachers be paid more for what they are already doing? It seems so. Why single out one sector of employment for a reward that everyone else doesn't get purely because it is motivated by one person, Julia Gillard? Apparently it has to do with good teachers being virtuous people. It is not much use holding out one group as an example if there is no intention to apply it to the whole workforce. Paying good teacher more will not make lesser beings respectful toward them. It will make the average teacher angry. Let's not go back to pet projects like in the Howard and Rudd eras.
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The Government Is Wrong to Fund Chaplaincy in Schools

Most people don't attend church, synagogue or mosque yet Nations pander to those who hold religious beliefs with outdated ceremonies. It seems one hasn't the right not to believe in anything other than accepting the fact that humans live and die.

Ron Williams tried to send his children to a school that taught all religions but also taught secularism. He couldn't find one. Schools identified with one faith and virtually condemned all others. He saw requests for gold coins to fund scripture union classes as offensive and something he wasn't going to give. Indeed, chaplains seemed to be at war with teachers over the minds of students. What he found most difficult of all to accept was that the government was already partially funding Access Ministries which were "transforming the nation for God." Adolf Hitler tried similar brain washing systems to control the Hitler Youth.

What is driving the wads of cash? All political parties need the support of the church to win elections. Indeed, it is the silence of the churches that is the objective.

The issue is now being taken to the High Court by Ron Williams with the intent of stopping the funding. He probably won't win. His attempt is worth loud applause from the community.
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